TLDR || Wait but Why post titled The Tail End – read it now. You read it right? Now think about how much time you have left with your loved ones, and the things you love, and make the most of those moments. This post specifically revolves around the time my parents and I have left together; Math tells me about 750 days.
The Tail-end – What I’m on about here
I read a Wait but Why post titled The Tail End a few weeks ago. The thoughts the topic generated in my head have haunted large portions of my metal cycles. The essence of the words below are based on my thinking and me Mathing – Based on X years of life and Y things happening Q times a year how many more Y things do you have left.
One of Tim’s examples in the post | Tim figures he has about 60 years left in life out of 90 years as a good average. If he reads 5 books a year, He’ll read 300 more books in his life time. With 300 books left he better choose which ones he’s reading wisely.
If I keep up the speed of books I’m working towards this year, I’ll read about 150 books this year, I have about 6,500 books left read; SWEET, much better then 300. 6500 is an awesome for us this week because it means we should buy some more books. Michelle entered our last book shopping back into Library thing a few days ago and Library thing reports we only have 5,993 paperback. I know a few of those I won’t read, so we better buy more!
Tim then goes on applies his math to his remaining time with parents and family. Unfortunately for him he does not live in the same state as his parents and only visits a few time a year. Tim’s quote from the post, based on his math and situation is striking — ” It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end.” – For me, I live closer to my parents, and I’m able to see them a few times a month vs. a few times a year.
Mom and Dad’s Health
My dad was born 1954.My mother was born in 1956. I was born in 1977. Both of my parents never been over weight. They’ve been fairly healthy their entire lives. They ran for a few years when I was growing up. Currently they’re walking a few miles a day, and have been for a number of years. They are dedicated to walking they do it in the rain, in the sun, or snow, does not mater they walk. Mom and dad eat well, get along, have a Meh amount of stress in their lives, and are busy with their life. Both of my mother’s Parents are still around, and mostly healthy. Dad parents have both passed; his dad due to drinking, and his mom due to her bones degenerating and we frailty increasing until she was taken by a fatal fall getting out of bed.
Mom and Dad are in overall good health with a few negatives going against them that might slow them down in the long term. Mom Smokes, and has always been a sun worshiper. Dad is also a sun worshiper, but he has not smoked consistently in a decades of time. Dad had a Hip replaced a few years ago, has some hereditary high BP, and hereditary degenerative arthritis picking on his joints.
How long do we have left?
Mom and Dad will both most likely need skin Cancer checks and mitigation, but that’s generally not fatal short term. In my view Mom and Dad will keep on walking and staying in shape. They will keep up their healthy happy marriage and medical science will help them out. All things considered I’m betting they make it to until around 2040 give or take. For Math purposes I’m going with 2040 as their expiration date.
Mom and Dad and I have 24 years left where we’ll be able spend time together. We’ve made it through about 63% of the total possible time we’ll be able to spend together. I say total because the proportion of total time we spend together is a diminishing number from birth. At birth I spent about 100% of my waking hours with one parent or the other. In 2016 we spend about 2-4 hours every other week together, and have a less than 10-minute phone call once a week. – if you math that over 24 future years you get a number – see math below:
Time left — ((3(hours a visit) * 26 (visits a year)) + 48(Hours in 6 holidays a day)) * 24 years = 3,024 hours / or / 768 more days with each other.
0-1 years old — (12(hours a day I was awake) *365(days in the year) = 4,380 hours / or / 365 days
If you compare Time left to the time we had together from 0-1 you can see we have far less time left, then we had in that first year of my life by hours. We have more days, but those days will have far fewer hours together in them.
What to do with the Math
Comparing hours of time between infant and parents with time between toddler, teenager, or adult and parents is not the same. I used it in the example to create some numbers I can apply to my thinking. I know, I know, each stage in life creates different value in the relationship, and you can’t compare them apples to apples. To me the latter the stage in life the stronger and more valuable most memories will be. Minus a few of those huge development items.
From this math I need to work out how to better utilize the time left and create value there for me and my family. Not just in relationships but in all areas of life with all things I value.
You can apply tail end math to anything in life and create a check off list of how many X things you have left. Most none of us will ever do this math in life. We won’t do it because math and thinking long term are difficult concepts for humans. For me, it took being slapped in the face with a simple number like 750 times left to motivate me to do the math and think. I potentially have about 750 days left in my life where I’ll see people I value; People I call my parents.
To add perspective to help thinking I’ll provide another example. I comparison to others in my circle of friends 750 days is not too bad. It’s not too bad when you compare it my partner at work, Wes. Wes’s number is much more sobering when you math it out. Wes lives in a different state from his parents, and he has older parents then I do. He has, reasonably, 80 days left in life where he will see his parents.
Another side of the math, over half of the time I will ever spend with my parents already happened before I was 14 years old. I have 5 kids, and a wife I love dearly. I will, and I must not only apply this concept to time with my parents, as a parent and husband, I will apply this thinking to my Wife and my own children.
It boils down to me to — realize there is value in every bit of time in a relationship, you cannot get those moments back, and every moment moves you closer to the last moment, which might be closer than you think. Think about the value of time and do your best to extract the most out of the moments
All posted in my world need pictures. I’m writing about the relationship between myself and my parents and mathing the time we have left together. Looking back three years I was not able to find a single picture with only the three of us. I found one picture from Xmass we were all in as a family, and a few more of just mom at dad. Better fix this problem next time I cross off one of the 750 days we’ve got left.
Two of the hand full of shots I have of mom and dad together – Trenton’s graduation, and Lake birthday
The Whole family last year at Xmass